Colchester Causeway Path

Storm Damage: 5/4/18


UPDATE [5/10/18]: We have found that there is structural damage to the bridge on the Causeway, therefore, the path will be closed PRIOR TO the Bridge.

The area from Mills Point to just before the bridge will remain open.

UPDATE [5/9/18]: After initial assessments of the damage to the Causeway, we have reopened the portion from Mills Point to the first bridge. The area after the bridge (to the Cut) will remain closed due to safety concerns. Please abide by the signs out there and refrain from use past the bridge! We’ll continue to update on social media as we receive more information. 

The Local Motion Bike Ferry will not be running at this time either.

The Colchester Causeway 5K/10K/15K Race scheduled for 6/2/18 has been changed to just a 5K.  Racers that have already registered for the 10K or 15K will be contacted with the option to transfer to the 5K or request a refund.  The 5K race will be maxed at 300 runners.  Visit the event page for details.

5/5/18 NOTICE: High winds and heavy rains on 5/4/18 resulted in the formation of sink holes, clearing of surfacing, and heavy debris on the Colchester Causeway Path. From Mills Point to the bridge has limited damage, but past the bridge is showing major damage. Due to safety concerns, the Town of Colchester will be closing the path until further notice while we assess the damage and determine the extent of repairs. Visitors, especially those on bicycles, are strongly cautioned. We do not recommend using the path at this time.

5/18/18: Preliminary Estimates for Damage Repair

Town Manager Aaron Frank & Parks & Recreation Director Glen Cuttitta have compiled the following information as of 5/17/18:

  • On Friday, May 4th, the Colchester Causeway sustained significant damage from heavy rain and strong winds at a time when the lake level was very high. 
  • On Saturday, May 5th, Parks & Recreation Director Glen Cuttitta surveyed the trail and determined it was not safe for public use.  After consulting Town Manager Aaron Frank, it was decided to close the path to the public.
  • On Monday, May 7th, Krebs & Lansing, a consulting engineering company that assisted with repairing the Causeway in 2012, began a damage evaluation to form a preliminary cost estimate. 
    • They estimate $458,000 to repair the path alone.
    • Stabilizing the bridge, which sustained structural damage in the storm, is estimated to cost roughly $105,000.
    • Due to the high water levels, these estimates could increase if additional damage is found below the current water level.
    • Total current estimate for Causeway and bridge repair stands at $563,000.

  • When the Causeway was damaged in similar storms in 2012, it was eligible for FEMA funding through the State of Vermont.  FEMA funding is based on statewide damage estimates with a threshold of $1M total and a certain dollar amount per citizen in each area of the state.  If these specific thresholds are met for the May 4th storm, FEMA will typically fund up to 75% of the total estimated repair cost.
    • The best case scenario is that the Town would need to obtain roughly $56,300 to be the local 10% match to FEMA funds.  (Based on our experience in 2012, the where we needed a 10% local match due to the State of Vermont covering 15% of the local match).

This situation will continue to evolve.  All figures are estimates only.  Visit for the most up-to-date information.  Additional questions should be directed to Glen Cuttitta at or call 802-264-5641.

Causeway water walkway

Experience the most unique bike path in the North East!  Converted from an old railway line, this hidden gem is a 10 ft-wide, 4-mile long gravel path extending to the middle of Lake Champlain with scenic views of the lake, Vermont Green Mountains, and New York Adirondack Mountains. A "Cut" at the end of the path allows boats to path through, while local bike advocacy group Local Motion operates a seasonal bike ferry to transport visitors across the cut to the South Hero side of the path.